RUK/GWO WAH & Rescue Wind Turbines, GWO Sea Survival, RUK MST Vessel Transit & Transfer.

More training completed. GWO RUK

GWO RUK WAH Working at height and rescue training for offshore wind and renewables.

GWO RUK WAH Working at height and rescue training for offshore wind and renewables.

Opito BOSIET + CA-EBS, MIST +Norwegian Sect.  RUK/GWO WAH & Rescue Wind Turbines, GWO Sea Survival, RUK MST Vessel Transit & Transfer, CSCS+Working at Height..the list of industry safety training is getting longer.

Let's get straight to it..all this training takes time and incurs considerable expense, however it does open up opportunities for access to client commissions.

The oil and gas industry although has had a tough time of late is still a thriving industry with many new projects in planning, the renewables and wind energy generation is a fast growing but still quite a young industry that continues to grow.

To support an ongoing commission I was asked to undertake safety training to enable access to offshore wind turbines and construction vessels, this involves not just getting to and transiting to the structures, but also climbing and in an emergency escaping from the top nacel or performing a rescue of a colleague, as well as sea survival.

Most of the vessels involved in the construction of offshore wind installations require the oil and gas BOSIET, this covers also sea survival, fire fighting, escape from smoke filled compartments and the HUET..a simulated helicopter ditching at sea and underwater inversion.

Although there were many areas of learning that cross over each has specific areas of training to cover, and stepping off an approx 30 meter training tower to experience how the Milan controlled rate descender works takes a bit of nerve.

I completed both BOSIET and RUK/GWO courses with Advanced Industrial Solutions Newcastle facility..worlds class facilities, knowledgeable training delivered by some great instructors..and the on site food facility provides great quality hearty meals with plenty of dietary choices (fyi-I'm not selling AIS..bit praising the whole set-up)

So...want some offshore projects photographed..I'm qualified. 

A World First- EDF Wind Farm Bases Floating.

Wind Gravity Bases floating down river.

It was great to see the EDF wind gravity base being released from it's construction drydock, in the dawn light 04.30 the first floating base was gently drawn from the flood drydock into the river Tyne, Wallsend, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. 

This sees the end of the construction phase photography, now it's onto the offshore installation operation-really looking forward to seeing the completed project installed towards the end of this year. Having my offshore BOSIET etc means access to the construction vessels-mostly Dutch so guaranteed great coffee and creamer. (these are important details for a coffee powered photographer!) 

Wind gravity bases leaving drydock.

Wind gravity bases leaving drydock.

Wind gravity base en-route to installation location off coast of Blyth, Northumberland.

Wind gravity base en-route to installation location off coast of Blyth, Northumberland.

EDF ER Chief Executive Matthieu Hue said:

“This is the first major offshore operation on this project and over the coming months people will be able to see the wind farm being built out at sea. This ground-breaking scheme will benefit the North East of England and help the UK to meet its future low carbon electricity needs.

“This is the first time that this float and submerge method has been used on a wind farm project.

The GBFs are held in place by gravity and this unique design reduces the need to use expensive marine equipment for the installation on the sea bed.”

– MATTHIEU HUE

Wind farm gravity base floating down the river Tyne, watched by an onlooker on an electric bycycle.

Wind farm gravity base floating down the river Tyne, watched by an onlooker on an electric bycycle.

edf wind farm base floating down river offsore

These are a few of the image that were sent out within a couple of hours of the base floating down river, the wind and renewables industry pr, press and social news feeds made for some wide coverage of this world first across the world. 

Clear thinking

The importance of a clear strategy communicated effectively can never be underestimated.

Find what you are looking for.

Find what you are looking for.

-Photographers are hired on the basis of geographical location, specialism, nepotism or sometimes just being in the right place at the right time -Photographers will often accept work because it's good business, they need the money, there's an empty space in the diary, too scared and too poor to say no, and in between those states is the angst of the void.

Is this the best I can do, will I ever work again, can I sustain the workload, how can I be in two places at once, is it worth the grief, everyones work is better...was I ever good enough? 

I have always liked the quote by Steve McQueen 'racing is life-anything before or after is just waiting', creating new work is both at the same time an opportunity for greatness or disappointment, a moment to define your condition-validate your creative or technical expertise in your chosen creative medium.

I have always struggled with the void between assignments-finding 'busy' work to do, researching locations, sales, social media, the accounts-VAT-Tax, looking for that 'something' that will be the eureka moment, looking for the dream client or assignment that is more important than life itself. 

There are many 'business coaches' out there who I'm sure can help me for a fee to understand what my goals are, have the mindset to win those dream jobs and achieve greatness..although I do question what greatness is these days!

One of the best tools for both business and mind-it doesn't cost a fortune, has no ongoing consultancy fees and minimal application costs..a magnetic whiteboard.

I put one of these up in my office some time back, it has listed the usual whiteboard stuff-all current work-things to do/remember-picture of the kids and dog and those free promotional magnets you get sent for your refrigerator door.

The most useful feature is the section for 'thoughts' the place where I layout goals and targets and any useful info and resources, it's the place where I can stand back-look with clarity at the next thing to do, don't underestimate the power of accomplishment in wiping off an item..it is liberating and addictive!

It's too easy to be swamped by the sheer mass of influences we take in, after all that's how we thrive and grow as creatives-letting these distractions add to our own interpretations, but in all the noise we need to hear our own soundtrack.          

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Water industry photography.

Photographers annual report photography.

Annual Report photography for the Regulated Water Industry.

Annual Report photography for the Regulated Water Industry.

Setting the right tone, getting the message to your shareholders annual report photography.

Every client has a different way that they like to have their photography show the way they are seen by their own industry, but how the photography is shot can also advertise their business communications to stakeholders and investors.

Sometimes editorial style photography works better, it can be 'looser' and more 'real' giving the feeling of the moment, great for people photography content. Other times the message of investment through plant and machinery photography show physical financial investment.

My own photographic style is a bit of both, I like to create, light, set up location photography. Its perhaps a little more in the traditional industrial photography style in so far as it has a higher technical standard to the image creation, but also incorporate people photography into the location.

Getting the tone just right-making the people look empowered, engaged and professional is key to telling the editorial story whilst creating a good technical image.      

Photography in a £1.13bn investment Biotech industry.

The UK's biotech industry according to the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) saw investment of £1.13bn last year, positioning the UK as moving towards being the world's third largest biotech centre for life sciences.

UK Biotech research for life sciences.

UK Biotech research for life sciences.

The UK Bioscience sector along with Switzerland represents over 55% of the European total venture capital investments. Driven by the demand worldwide from aging populations there is a great demand for improved healthcare and drug therapies to combat age related illness' and conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's.

Lifesciences research and drug development.

Lifesciences research and drug development.

 It's good to hear that the biotech industry see's the UK in a very robust position going forward despite the uncertainties of Brexit, but compared to investments across the world- America Boston-£1.6bn and San Francisco-£1.5bn there is no place to complacent.

It is important that the Universities and Biotech companies make sure that the UK is an attractive place to study, research and invest not just for home grown talent but those from across the world wanting to be at the center of academic learning and commercial development.    

Panic and planning. (adding a small detail can make a big difference) Construction Photography.

'F8 and be there' Creating construction photography images when you have no control.

Offshore Wind Construction Photography.

Offshore Wind Construction Photography.

Sometimes you get lucky..being a professional is about getting lucky every time you pitch up at a location, and being lucky is more about thinking ahead far enough to bring together elements in a changing environment.

Offshore Wind Construction Photographers

Offshore Wind Construction Photographers

Construction progress photography-returning to the same location over a period of time to record how a project is progressing. Progress photography used to be just another line on the project tender by the client so they have a record at regular intervals, it can be so much more.

Creating image content on projects can be a great tool to engage (read-customers/stakeholders) and often show to a wider audience the activities not often considered associated with a brand. 

Returning a location regularly can present opportunities and challenges to keep creating fresh new content to show the story unfolding. Often the first 'big' lift is all about innovation, proof of concept...and the engineer's calculations were correct! then stages of progress showing the race to completion.

Planned lifts often give you a little time to 'scope' out a few good viewpoints to get clear unobstructed views whilst working around exclusion zones and other activities, but sometimes as the process is happening and the 'elements' are moving around a potential shot lines itself up.

Working out if you you have time get off site-into the project offices-up the stairs-find a 'body'-persuade them to stop what they are doing-get their PPE on and go stand on a staircase for 15 mins..then get back to the camera without missing a key part of the lift..and whether it's worth it! All I will say as an industrial photographer fitness plays an important part (note to self: STAY AWAY FROM THE DESSERTS and cycle more!!) 

''F8 and be there” is attributed to the photographer Weegee (actually Arthur Fellig) who shot iconic street images during the 1930's and 40's, progress photography is similar..it's about being there-and being there often means you get to be in the right place at the right time.

The positioning of the 'branded' observer in the shot was something I had in mind for while but was waiting for the right alignment of elements. On big projects it's nice link the people and brand with the huge structure constructions-giving them 'ownership' of the project.

 

      

 

Offshore Photographer UK BOSIET GWO

Help-they are trying to drown me!

Industrial photography: noun The art of creating images in industrial environments.

Industrial photographers are a strange breed..we do something that is often creative and challenging then we make it more difficult by choosing to exercise our craft in some of the most difficult environments.

We often get to see really impressive engineering that most don't even think about in their daily lives, just switching on a kettle has a massive chain of infrastructure behind the creation of a cup of hot water.

To get access to many of the infrastructures need to make your morning 'wake-up' a reality requires us to have the same safety standards in place as those that are building, maintaining and producing the energy for your 'hot brown'

The offshore environment can be as hostile as space..but only closer. Tiny little engineered islands stand alone, often cut off from help if things go wrong, which is why safety and training is the No.1 priority when working offshore.

Getting to and from your worksite means helicopter transport over water, and safety dictates that anyone traveling this way should be trained to improve their chances of a positive outcome if things go wrong. Sea survival and procedures for exiting a ditching helicopter are a requisite of offshore life.

Having completed a week of offshore training you really get to understand how the safety culture is paramount to the industry, we all know about the disasters-mostly caused by systemic failures and the escalation of even small errors can be catastrophic really makes you think hard about your actions in the workplace.

I am now a holder of the following certifications:

Opito BOSIET   BOSIET with CA-EBS   MIST    Offshore Medical  Additional Norwegian Sector

P.S. Big thanks to AIS Offshore Training (http://training.aisgroup.co.uk/) for delivering a great course, and especially to Laura for making sure I didn't drown (although I was quite enjoying it at the end!) 

OFFSHORE BOSIET HELICOPTER TRANSPORT PHOTOGRAPHER

OFFSHORE BOSIET HELICOPTER TRANSPORT PHOTOGRAPHER

Cinegraphs.

Motion content for web sites.

The desire to have endless video's, drone footage, interviews etc.with the view to keep visitors at your web site longer means that you need to be creating new content to feed the your web site and social media feeds.

Content that attracts the eye and holds you at that page for just a little longer means creating a stream of videos to share, you could keep creating great content at a cost or produce poor content just because 'we need to have moving content' on our web site.

What about all the still images of your people and projects, are they just now for printed brochures and newsletters or will they doomed to be buried on a hard drive and archived never to be seen again. 

Suitable images can be 're-animated' as Cinegraphs, still images rendered to create the illusion of motion. It's more than just 'rostrum' zoom and pan, it takes selections from within the image and ands motion.

ISSUU Brochure.

Photographers in Print.

Industrial Photographers.

Delivering your portfolio..or at least getting your work in front of potential clients is always a challenge.

I have added to the footer on all my outgoing emails a link to my ISSUU industrial photography brochure, to try and 'engage' there's a pic of my ugly mug on page 2...well that can only go two ways!

Click on the image to go to the Issuu brochure, any comments welcome.

PDF Download here.

Construction Progress Photography

Construction Progress Photography

progress photography construction

Industrial Photographer.

It's cold and the days are short..it's all good news for photographers.

Cold often means clearing skies and short days gets us those 'night' shots of buildings and structures whilst everyone is still at work, so the lights are on inside buildings and there is still plenty of activity out on site.

Images shot at dusk can add an extra dimension to 'progress photography'-often as a contractual element included in the construction procurement process, progress photography is often seen as just a visual record of the construction phase. But think of it as a potential resource for marketing/reporting collateral the photography can really add visual captivation or message about your business. 

Construction and development sites can be pretty dynamic places for location photography anywhere in the world..warm or cold.

construction photography

 

  

Airline hold roulette

Photographers problems.

photography hard cases

Wheels are good..especially if you work mostly on your own and are 'experienced' 

Shooting overseas is a pain..I love the travel and the photography but hate taking lights,stands and tripods etc on aircraft. Lets call it 'hold roulette', will the kit get damaged? To mitigate the risk I have hard cases (with wheels!) they are good for protection but bad for weight, will the kit get lost or stolen..spin the wheel!!!

The camera's, lenses, macbook etc I carry on-too valuable to lose or replace quickly on location. I have toyed with 'renting' locally the lighting but it's costly, the locations are always very far away from the rental store and it can mean leaving it to someone local to sort the receiving/return logistics (I'm a control freak) and just for a couple of heads, stands and softbox light shapers.

So we continue to play 'airline hold roulette'..maybe I need to hire some 'younger' legs to carry stuff from now on.

There are many case manufacturers but I use the ones from Trifibre  as they are great value.

 

Corporate Industrial Photographers

Industrial Photographers

Corporate Industrial Photographers - Offshore component fabrication.

'is this my best side'

Photography in industrial locations is as much about taking a great photograph as it is about managing the environment the photography is being created in.

The only thing (hopefully) that will be remembered is the picture and for the right reasons the photographer, so working in an environment where the photographers needs can be at odds with the clients production schedule. Just stopping the job even for a short time has 'knock-on', -delays to welding, fabrication, QA testing and certification, finishing and painting, booked transport final signoff  and delivery to the client..in markets where materiel costs rise and time deadlines require ever demanding efficiencies there is not much 'slack' in the system.

In the grand scheme of things 'photographers' are a nuisance..in fact I once heard of an art director say 'photographers..just an unfortunate necessity' yet we create the eye candy for many annual reports, brochures, website, social media etc words are good-pictures are better!

Getting the 'set' looking good does take time, just clearing up the used grinding discs, random cables, unused power tools, boxes and 'George's' favourite sitting down chair makes for a better looking image.

Do everything that can be done before stopping someone else working, setting and testing the lights-getting the camera all set-knowing the frames and exposures you will need for the final image output. Those welders are not working on the fabrication..they are arcing off a couple of pieces of scrap, it allows me to place the welders in good places for the image but not require any 'cleaning up' after.

Even the photography lighting used is selected for the environment, using Elinchrom Quadra battery powered flash removed the need for excessive mains power cable runs (good for tidiness and H&S slips trip hazards) if 'more' is needed we have some special 'jumper' cables to power 110v/240v mains strobe equipment.

Total 'stoppage' time needed to get the shot -10 minutes including showing the 'models' the frames..the setting up however took longer but saved the client valuable production time.

   

Where do we go from here?

Industrial Photographers UK.

True efficiency comes from understanding,delivering value through planning and knowledge on the road to economic strength.

It happens now and again..I get a call from a potential new client and if the opening gambit is 'can you come and take a couple of snaps..it'll only take 10 minutes' call me a cynical old photographer but by the time the last syllable has been spoken I have already emotionally distanced myself from the job.

There's nothing wrong with a '10 minute opportunity' to create great photography, however the 30+ years of knowledge it's taken to be able to bring those skills to the party and create a piece of work in the timeframe available should be enough for the artist to decide if a shoot can take 10 minutes.

One of my other favourite openers is 'we have a limited budget this time-can you do this first job cheap and we'll give you more work in the future' It's amazing how many times they never call back when I offer to shoot the first job at my normal rate and then offer a preferential rate on the second and third shoot. 

A client relationship has to start somewhere, I prefer it to start 'we think your work is a good fit for us' or 'we have seen the work you shot for xyz' This tells me that there is a real interest and investment in the process..a willingness to create..and mutual respect.

Perhaps it's just me or a place my career is in, but the things that interest me are projects that there is the opportunity to potentially create a defining image of a place, person or process. 

Maybe it's time to do a personal project and by my own client..talk about client from hell!